Plans to reopen the Prince Albert pulp mill have been delayed.

The company that bought the facility had initially planned to start up the mill later this year.

However, that timeline has been pushed back by about 18 months.

Dale Patterson is the vice-president of operations for Paper Excellence in Canada.

Speaking at a Prince Albert Chamber of Commerce luncheon today, he explained the company is waiting for new technology to be developed that will significantly lower the cost of setting up the plant:

“That technology will result in a capital expenditure that’s probably $85 million or $90 million less.”

He adds Paper Excellence also wants to make sure things are done right and with a long-term vision in mind.

Patterson says the company already spent $10 million commissioning the plant, which experienced mechanical problems after sitting idle for six years.

When it’s up and running, it will produce both traditional pulp and dissolved pulp.

Patterson notes they have held talks with the Montreal Lake Cree Nation about the operation, and recently used the band’s fabrication company to do some work for them.